Hello, I am a 36 year old male that was diagnosed with gout 3 years ago. My first attack in the big toe joint put me out of work for 5 days. It was brutal. My Uric Acid levels from the blood test were not that high so I ended up having the procedure where the doctor uses a needle to extract joint fluid to get a 100% confirmation on the diagnosis. He saw crystals in the fluid: I have gout. By the way, turns out my great-grandfather had gout also...

I began researching how to control gout. I made the massive changes in diet and quit drinking for a year (anything to avoid that pain again). My doctor informed me I could pop a pill every day for the rest of my life to help control the disease but that just did not sit right. At 33 it was hard to picture taking a pill everyday for the next 40 or 50 years.

I still had flare-ups of gout. Luckily, nothing as harsh as the first attack but very uncomfortable/painful. I would take ibuprofen to manage the swelling and pain. Again, I worried about the longtime affects on my body...

Then, a friend told me about Bikram Yoga. This is the type of yoga that takes place in a very hot room and you sweat, a lot. I am not the 'new age' type and some of the spiritual side is a bit far out. BUT, I have not had a full fledged gout attack in over 1.5 years. I try to go to Bikram Yoga 2-3 times per week. In fact, there have been times when I felt the gout coming on and would only need 1 to 2 bikram yoga sessions to completely stop the attack.

I recommend everyone out there who has Gout try out this Bikram Yoga. It has worked for me and I hope it can help you out too. I just signed up for this forum so if anyone has a question let me know...
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First Helper surfgout
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replied April 6th, 2008
Is it the yoga or the sweating?
Do you think it's the sweating or the yoga exercises that are helping you keep gout in check? I would think it's the sweating.

Various toxins, uric acid among them, are excreted not just through urine but also through perspiration. Since we generally don't sweat that much, I would think the urine path is usually much more effective. However, if you engage in a sweat-inducing activity or spend time in a hot/humid environment, then you can get rid of a significant amount of liquid (and presumably a significant amount of UA).

Instead of Bikram yoga I've been going 2 or 3 times a week to a gym where they have a dry sauna, a steam room and a whirlpool spa. I have weighed myself: a half hour of sweating "like a pig" in these facilities drops my weight (currently I'm about 170) about 1.0 or 1.5 pounds. It's all sweat and when I drink water afterwards I regain the weight loss (don't want to be dehydrated -- can bring on a gout attack!). I still don't know how much uric acid leaves through the sweat but *maybe* sweating is helpful.

Also, I have done other things to try to prevent a gout attack (lose weight, change diet, use supplements, etc.). So far, so good. I have not had an attack for a couple of months now (way too short of a time period to make any valid conclusions, I know).

Still, the idea of uric acid excreting through perspiration makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately I have seen very little information on the Web about this.
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replied April 8th, 2008
probably both
Hey Stanl....I think the sweating plays a major role. Again, I too do not have any medical proof. All I know is I am controlling the gout attacks. Again, it has been 1.5 years since I have had a full-scale attack. The one common-denominator to that time frame has been Bikram Yoga (hot yoga)....

I am sure that exercise and diet play a general role in the body's ability to resist gout attacks.

However, in Bikram Yoga there are many positions that focus on the toe-joints. They get stretched, worked and flushed...this has to help as the premise of gout is the formation of 'crystals' in the joint.

Bikram Yoga is designed to 'flush the system' through a series of stretching positions...

As I said when I started this thread. I just want people to know this is an option. So far it has worked for me and it might work for you too...
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replied April 8th, 2008
Interesting about Bikram Yoga.

I've been doing regular yoga for a couple of years now, but got clipped by gout in December anyway. I increased the use of sweat rooms only a couple of months ago. So far so good, but it's only been a couple of months.
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replied March 10th, 2011
Gout & Bikram Yoga
Hey SurfGout,

I am 38 year old male. I have been having Gout for past 5 years. (2-3 attacks/year). I also get these attacks more frequently during spring months.

Last Year, I had worst of the attack and lasted about 4 weeks, desperate web search in pain Sad got me to this thread, and I stumbled on your post. Having very similar history (genes, young age and not ready to pop daily pill for next 30-40 yrs), I decide to try Bikram Yoga.

Man, what a change! Now 1 yr into Bikram 2-3 times a week, I have had great success with controlling Gout, Plus the weight loss and peace of mind Smile. I swear to Bikram Yoga as a cure, and would recommend to anyone. I also feel its not just the heat, but specific asanas that work on u r joints and dissolve uric acid crystals.

Here's the question part:

This is March, and I got an attack last week, I controlled it aggressively with water, and usual medicines (colcicine, Indomethacin etc). I reduced the pain in 2 days, and first sign of normalcy, went to Bikram. I went to yoga for 2 times in last 3 days, but suddenly I got an attack (other joint) last night. My Doc thinks its dehydration in Bikram, and something that he says I should not do until gout free for 4-5 weeks. Do you have any insight? Experience? or is there anything diff you do during attack?

Look forward to u r response,
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replied May 1st, 2011
hey everyone -- i'm also in a similar position. age 36, in good shape, not overweight, never drank much, but have gout. after suffering 4 attacks over 2 months last year. i went vegetarian, then raw food, but nothing helped. doc put me on allopurinol. said that there was no way i could control my gout with diet given my uric acid level of 9.1. allopurinol worked to lower my uric acid to < 6.0, and it stayed there for 6 months. then my liver enzymes started going up quickly and i decided to get off the drug when they were more than 2x normal levels and went up 20 points in a week. since i had to wait until my liver enzymes returned to normal before trying a different medicine, like ulloric, i was searching on the internet for natural remedies since i'm really afraid of suffering another attack. the last attack in my achilles tendon is the worst pain i've ever experienced. after finding this post, i decided to try bikram yoga. i'm more than 2 months into it, and so far no gout attacks. my serum uric acid has gone up again, and was at 8.1 last testing, but so far i don't have any actual attacks. in fact, i don't have any kind of joint pain. all of the gout experts on the gout forums would say that i'm going to have another attacks eventually, i really feel like this bikram yoga will keep them at bay.

also went to a naturopath who put me on the "diet for your blood type", which is A in my case. i eat white fish several times a week and chicken 2x a week. besides that i'm mostly vegetarian and avoid all sugar (fructose is linked with elevated serum uric acid levels). so far these changes are working out for me.

my theory is that the yoga keeps dissolving the crystals through heat and stretching such that they can't build up so much. plus i think it must have some affect on the autoimmune system. i was reading that only 15% of people with my level of uric acid level get gout, such that there must be some link to an over-reactive immune system. i think the yoga kind of keeps it in check.

anyway, i'd be interested in hearing about how it is going for everyone else.
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replied October 7th, 2011
Bikram helps my Gout
I'm pretty sure Bikram Yoga is helping my gout.

I've had gout for about 15 years and am to the point where I almost always have some amount of swelling and soreness in my toe joints, even when not having a full-on flare. I started Bikram yoga for fitness reasons not related to gout. I even thought it might be a problem for my gout, but I wanted to try it anyway. After a few weeks of Bikram, I noticed that the swelling and soreness in my toes had gone away, but I wasn't sure if it was due to yoga or just coincidence.

I took a vacation and stopped yoga temporarily (also ate and drank more than usual), and the pain and swelling came back, and I could sense a full-on flare coming on. Usually I would rest the joint if I felt a flare coming, because I've had other forms of exercise seem to aggravate a flare. But this time I decided to see if going back to Bikram classes would help. After 3 days of classes, the flare seems to have been prevented, and the swelling and pain are subsiding significantly. That is a pretty dramatic turnaround for me --- usually if I sense a flare, it's a sure bet it's going to get bad and last at least a week or more.

I'm not sure why Bikram would have this effect, but I guess it would probably be due to some kind of flushing mechanism, or possibly some way of dissolving the uric acid crystals, even if the uric acid is not actually flushed out of the system.

During a Bikram class, I can sweat out as much as four pounds of water --- about a half gallon. I don't know if sweating flushes uric acid or not. But I also drink a LOT more water when practicing Bikram, which is good for gout.

Many of the Bikram poses work and stretch the joints susceptible to gout. Maybe that is part of it, but other forms of exercise that work the feet seem to aggravate my gout. So it's a mystery why working the joints in Bikram would help when other exercise does not.

One thing unique to Bikram is that the room is so hot. Maybe heat helps to dissolve uric acid crystals the way hot water dissolves sugar or salt more easily than cold water.

Another thing about Bikram is that some of the poses are meant to restrict blood flow to certain points of the body while also elevating your heart rate. When you release the pose is supposedly when you get the benefit of high velocity oxygenated blood rushing into that area that had previously been restricted. Maybe that process helps to dissolve crystals or flush uric acid out of the restricted joint. I don't know.

I don't know how it works, but it seems like it is helping. I found this thread because I had seem the benefits for myself, so I wondered if anyone else had experienced it too, and I searched for "Bikram and Gout." I'm glad to see that others are experiencing the same thing. Until now, I had never heard that yoga might help gout, and I wished I had known about it 15 years ago.
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